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Making a Difference in the Fight to End Human Trafficking

Today, the House passed the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act (H.R. 2664). Introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, and Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP), this bipartisan legislation ensures Department of Labor employees have the tools and resources they need to detect cases of labor or sexual exploitation while investigating workforce law violations.

Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 2664 and commended Reps. Walberg and Sablan for their leadership. Watch her full remarks below:


Over the past few years, we have only begun to comprehend the horrors of human trafficking and how it established a foothold in this country. Thanks to the vigilance of faith-based groups, humanitarians across the globe, and the courage of survivors, we are learning more about the tactics and loopholes human traffickers exploit to prey on the most vulnerable among us.

Children are often the ones most vulnerable to exploitation. It’s estimated that one in six endangered runaways are likely victims of this horrific crime. Earlier this year, with the leadership of Representatives Guthrie and Courtney, the House passed the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act.

That bipartisan legislation supports the critical efforts of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It includes positive reforms to encourage new and innovative ways to recover and protect missing and exploited children, including those who are victims of trafficking. We need to do everything possible to ensure this positive work can continue, and that’s what H.R. 1808 was all about.

But this is an issue that demands our ongoing attention. More solutions are needed. And that’s why we’re here today — to build on the bipartisan work we’ve already accomplished.

The Department of Labor has a unique vantage point for spotting violations in workplaces that can be tell-tale signs of modern slavery and labor exploitation. This bill equips DOL personnel to form partnerships with law enforcement to detect and address signs of human trafficking in America’s workplaces.

If we can shed light in any corner where this evil may lurk, we must.

I commend Mr. Walberg’s leadership on this issue, and Mr. Sablan for working with him so passionately. I am proud that the Committee on Education and the Workforce could do its part to support their work and bring this bill to the floor.

The legislation is the latest in the committee’s effort to help combat trafficking and protect vulnerable Americans. Earlier this year, the House passed the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act (H.R. 1808) to ensure the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has the tools it needs to recover missing children and prevent sex trafficking.

For a fact sheet on H.R. 2664, click here.

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